Fishing, especially recreational fishing, is considered to be one of the most famous activities all over the world: people like to spend the vast majority of their time in order to use their imagination, attract the attention of other people, and catch as much fish as possible. There are lots of techniques, which may be used during fishing; however, it is crucially important to decide what fish you are going to catch in order to choose the best tool to achieve the positive results only.
For example, when we talk about shark finishing, people have to think about proper techniques in order not only to catch a shark but also to hold it for a long period of time. It is necessary to admit that recreational shark fishing has its own pros and cons, which have to be mentioned and discussed.
People satisfaction after a shark is caught is good indeed, however, recreational shark finishing has lots of negative outcomes for both, sharks and humans: people are not always ready to catch a shark and take the necessary steps to protect themselves from sharks’ reaction of being caught, and sharks, even being the most terrible predators in water, still carry out significant functions, and their disappearance causes numerous changes within underwater life.
In fact, recreational shark fishing was not that popular until 1975. People did not find this very activity rather safe and significant in their lives, and preferred to catch some smaller fish in order to feed and entertain. However, the movie Jaws, directed by Steven Spielberg in 1975, attracted the attention of numerous fishers and those people, who liked extreme and danger. The story of one huge white shark amazes lots of people, lots of professional fishermen wanted to catch one of those sharks, which were presented on the screen in order to save their families and not to be afraid to spend some time in water.
Of course, Jaws played a significant role in the development of recreational shark fishing; however, it was not the only one. The point is that people may catch a shark without a boat and use rods or reels, settled on a bridge or dock. So, if you want to feel something really exciting and unusual, you are welcome to buy all the necessary equipment and visit one of the nearest beaches in order to try own luck.
But still, people should take into consideration certain facts concerning sharks in order to comprehend how much harm they can do by such frequent recreational shark fishing. Lots of researches prove that more than 100 million sharks are caught and killed every year. In other words, 11 000 sharks are killed by people every hour. (Bryant, n.d.) It is necessary to mention that these numbers are all about both commercial and recreational shark fishing.
If we talk about recreational shark fishing only, it is better to use the facts, offered by the US National Marine Fisheries Service: they admit that more than 12 million sharks and skates were killed during the year of 2004, however, lots of recreational shark fishers prefer to release caught sharks back to the ocean. (Bryant, n.d.) Sharks face too many problems while reproducing: they cannot find a proper sexual partner during a long period of time; they spend much energy to give a birth to one pup and should have a rest; they do not reproduce too many pups in one time (from 2 to 20); and, finally, they reproduce only one time in a year.
(Berman 26) So, if people do not stop recreational fishing, it is quite possible that with time, there will be no shark to catch at all. There are so many fishing tournaments, which require senseless killing of sharks in order people may tickle own and someone’s vanity. These tournaments bring much money for people with different social status, the only thing that is required is proper equipment and certain sum of money to become a participant of the tournament and demonstrate the others that you are ready and have enough financial support to start your affair.
Of course, money will be always a good reason to participate in such tournaments, however, it is impossible to buy everything, and proper condition of ocean is something that turns out to be rather significant to the lives of any being in this world. This is why people should not destroy their environment in order to win more money or prove someone that they are the best in something. “Sharks are more vulnerable to extinction than most other fish. For many, recovery may take decades after fishing pressure is reduced.” (Chivian, 267)
Well, we have already proved why recreational shark fishing is dangerous for sharks and causes bad outcomes. However, to demonstrate that shark fishing is not the best kind of entertainment, it is better to talk about human victims and injuries. The major point is that sharks’ behavior is very hard to predict; sharks’ reactions to human actions.
There are more than 370 kinds of sharks in this world (Richardson & Schaefer 5) and it is impossible to investigate the behavior of each shark even for the most sophisticated scientists. This kind of behavior remains one of the most mysterious ones in this world. Shark’s attacks and attitude to other fish in the ocean have rather different character. So, recreational shark fishing is considered to be one of the most dangerous kinds of sport even for the most desperate people and adrenaline lovers. It may happen that sharks eat people, of course, it happens rather rarely, but still, it may happen.
Sometimes, many sharks’ fishers return to their homes with numerous injuries of different levels. This is one more reason to think thoroughly whether shark fishing is worth or not. Many people still think that great white shark is the most terrible and the biggest shark in the world. However, researches demonstrate that a basking shark and a whale shark turn out to be bigger; their length is about 12 – 15 meters. (Cerullo et al., 2006) Have you ever met a fish that is longer than a school bus? Hardly, this is why it is better to be rather careful while shark fishing and be sure about own courage and skills to start fishing.
In general, fishing may be regarded as both good and bad activity of people. First of all, it is necessary to take into consideration that shark fishing requires certain equipment and skills. Without both of them, recreational shark fishing may become rather frustrating for people and bring not quite positive results. Also, people should remember that sharks are significant elements of our every day life: oceans and all creatures inside cannot exist without sharks’.
If something happen to oceans, people will also feel certain changes and face numerous troubles. I find this reason as one of the strongest. It is better to observe sharks as a good source for the necessary treatment, as sharks have some substances, which turn out to be rather useful for people. Of course, shark fishing is bad because it may cause sudden death of the fishers. The behavior of sharks is hard to predict, this is why lots of people faces numerous problems being too close to sharks.
Some people still find money as a good reason to start their fishing on sharks. Of course, shark fishing tournaments present great opportunities to people to earn more money, however, they are not sure that their money may be spend on medical treatment that will be necessary after such kind of fishing. So, it is possible to fish and catch sharks, grounding on commercial or medical purposes, or, finally, to save own life; however, recreational shark fishing has more negative sides than positive, and we should keep it in mind.
Berman, Ruth. Sharks. Lerner Publications, 2009.
Bryant, Charles, W. How Many Sharks Are Killed Recreationally Each Year – and Why? Jul. 7, 2009.
Chivian, Eric, Bernstein, Aaron, Wilson, Edward, O. Sustaining Life: How Human Health Depends on Biodiversity. Oxford University Press, 2008.
Cerullo, Mary, M., Rotman, Jeffrey, L., and Wertz, Michael. The Truth about Great White Sharks. Chronicle Books, 2006.
Richardson, Adele, D. and Schaefer, Lola, M. Sharks: Hunters of the Deep. Capstone Press, 2001.